Thomas Tuchel has set Marina Granovskaia her next transfer mission of signing centre-back Jules Kounde once Romelu Lukaku’s imminent return to Chelsea is announced.
With all focus from the Blues fan base on anticipating the arrival of their ex-striker, all eyes have been taken off the west Londoners’ pursuit of highly-rated Sevilla centre-half Kounde.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked to coming in and providing further competition in an area that is already saturated with top-class defenders in Thomas Tuchel’s setup.
Hints have already been dropped on the La Liga club’s behalf that their £68million rated defender could be heading to the Premier League this summer, with the Frenchman missing several pre-season games for the Andalusian-based side including their 2-2 draw with Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain.
He was though an unused substitute in their most recent 0-0 draw with Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma, showcasing to the world that Julen Lopetegui is already preparing for life without the ex-Bordeaux prodigy in their ranks.
All attentions for Granovskaia and co. before acquiring the Frenchman has been all on one player in particular- Lukaku.
football.london understands that a £97.5million fee was agreed in principle between the two parties, with the 28-year-old set to undergo his medical in Belgium on Monday before flying over to complete his west London return.
Once that’s done, it has been reported that all focus will be harnessed in on completing the deal to take one of La Liga”s best centre-halves to the Blue side of London this summer.
Spanish outlet ABC Deportes claim that manager Tuchel is pressing hard to sign the 22-year-old this summer with his current club actively looking at replacement options.
The report goes on to say that the player himself is confident that the move will go ahead as planned in this window.
football.london understands that the Blues are indeed keen to include the Kurt Zouma in the transfer operation to land the defender.
However, Zouma himself is reportedly settled in London and not eager to be involved in this specific deal, meaning Granovskaia will have to find another way of constructing a deal which means the £68million release clause isn’t paid in its full entirety.
A part-exchange deal still could be on the cards in a move that sees the Blues’ target move to north London rivals Tottenham in a swap for the Colombian International.
Tottenham correspondent for football.london Alasdair Gold has given the latest Spurs update in his most recent Q&A on Fabio Paratici’s pursuit of the Euro 2020 player.
He said: “Much depends on the player and whether Spurs have the funds to do the deal without selling first now Romero is arriving. Sevilla certainly have an interest in Davinson Sanchez and Spurs like Kounde. Let’s see what happens with the Frenchman. It always felt like he wasn’t against moving to Tottenham, but they weren’t his first choice, with Real Madrid in particular his dream destination.
“I should stress that of course it’s only rumours about Chelsea at this stage and they could push through the deal and offer him Champions League football. I’m only speaking about what could happen if that doesn’t occur.”
Tuchel’s side may have to react quickly to stop the Lillywhites from getting one up on them before the season starts by thwarting Tottenham’s best attempts in trying to poach Kounde under the nose of the Blues.